Age: 26 years
- Bachelor’s degree in International Business
- Master’s degree in Applied Economics and Finance (due for completion in 2011)
Working for Novo Nordisk: 6 months in current position, previously worked in R&D for 2.5 years and the UK office for 2 years
Job title: Student Assistant, Corporate Financial Planning
“My experience as a student at Novo Nordisk is that they are willing to invest a lot in me. The balance of how much I am involved in tasks is exactly right - I can give something back to the company and make a difference without compromising my studies.”
Coming back for more
I first applied for a student position at Novo Nordisk when I had just completed my basic education in Business Studies at the age of 20. I was part of a programme that found work experience placements for Danish students in different countries. I interviewed with four companies in the UK, but after my interview with Novo Nordisk I was hooked. I realised that I wouldn’t be seen as ‘cheap labour’ but as an asset that deserved investment! I realised then, as we discussed the long-term horizon, that my future was with Novo Nordisk.
I spent the next 2 years in the UK office in their Operations and Finance department. For me, it was almost like a ‘semi-degree’ in accounting. When I returned to Denmark I began my bachelor’s degree. Six months later I again applied for a student position with Novo Nordisk, this time in the Research and Development department in Gentofte where I worked on an IT system for their Balanced Scorecard. On average I worked 15 hours a week, but the company was very flexible so if I had exams I worked less but between exams I worked a little more. I was impressed at how accommodating the company was to my needs.
I am now 6 months into my third student placement with Novo Nordisk! These last few months in the Corporate Financial Planning department have been a steep learning curve for me and now I am looking forward to giving something back to the company in the coming months and years.
Part of the team
I’m working on a project that involves setting up a financial planning helpdesk. As this is a new concept for everyone, we are all learning together and I feel very much part of the team. We brainstorm together about how best to set it up, the opening hours, what it will cover etc. I have a specific job to do and I feel like a regular member of the department.
Of course I would like to have more responsibility for the big, important projects but I have to be realistic as I only work part time. It is therefore important to find a good balance. If I’m too much involved with too many responsibilities I won’t be able to do the job properly and my studies will suffer. My manager is very good at getting the balance right and for this I am grateful!
Building a network
One of the best things about being a student is building a great network and learning about the company before you become a full time, permanent employee. There are so many opportunities to progress within the company that my network is constantly growing as people I work with move on to different projects and functions. I think this network will be invaluable when I finish my degree and am looking for a job, as I will know so many people throughout the organisation – both in Denmark and abroad – and they will know me and how I work. This is a great head-start for my career.